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"Our names were made for us in another century."
August 25, 2012 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Towns with number names: Six, Eight, Twenty, Fifty-six, Seventy-six, Eighty-four, Eighty-eight, Ninety-six, Hundred and 1770. Honorable mention for Wonowon.
posted by jessamyn (41 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
All over Latin America streets (and urban guerrilla groups) are named after dates -- Avenida 16 de Septiembre, say. It's not something that seems to have caught on here, and I'm not sure if it has extended to city names there.
posted by Forktine at 6:24 PM on August 25, 2012


Oh I totally forgot that when I lived in Romania I lived on Strada 22 Decembrie. Before the revolution it had been named Lenin Blvd. You could tell a lot about someone by what they decided to call it.
posted by jessamyn at 6:26 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I took a look, and there are definitely some cities with date names -- 25 de Diciembre (Paraguay) and 6th of October (Egypt), for example.
posted by Forktine at 6:34 PM on August 25, 2012


Why do I love this so much. Thanks.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:35 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still want to believe that Novi, MI is shorthand for Number 6.
posted by NoMich at 6:36 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Onett, Twoson, Threed, Fourside
posted by danb at 6:37 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would also just like to say that 84 is possibly the most beautiful number. don'tknowwhy
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:44 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not too far from 86, Pa is a town called NOlO. Pronounced 'nolo' but it used to be pronounced 'number ten'
posted by stubby phillips at 6:45 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eighty Four PA, home of 84 Lumber which was founded by Billionaire Joe Hardy who celebrated his 84th(!) birthday by marrying a 22 year old hair dresser.
posted by octothorpe at 6:46 PM on August 25, 2012


(sorry, I meant 84, pa. i was typing on my phone)
posted by stubby phillips at 6:47 PM on August 25, 2012


Honorable mention: Coalinga, California: from the Southern Pacific railroad's name for "Coaling Station A".
posted by SPrintF at 6:47 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, it means Seven is still free!
posted by arcticseal at 6:58 PM on August 25, 2012


urban guerrilla groups
posted by XMLicious at 7:05 PM on August 25, 2012


Sixes, Oregon.
posted by Danf at 7:18 PM on August 25, 2012


Sixes, Oregon.

There's also Halfway, OR, which could be considered on the way to being a full number.
posted by Forktine at 7:31 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I was in Sixes, OR, I'd be tempted to write a letter to somebody in Halfway but address it as Three -- just to see what happened.

What I'm saying is: I want to live in all of these places.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:37 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also Halfway, OR, which could be considered on the way to being a full number.

I'll have to plan a trip there!
posted by trip and a half at 7:39 PM on August 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I give this post a ten.
posted by not_on_display at 7:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


OMG I JUST NOTICED THE TITLE OF THE POST I LOVE YOU JESSAMYN WEST!
posted by trip and a half at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2012


No fair winning the best post contest as a mod.
posted by 256 at 7:54 PM on August 25, 2012


Number Four, New York. Up in Lewis County in the Adirondacks.
posted by dbrown at 7:58 PM on August 25, 2012


1770 is a nice place,
I've had dreams of moving there for years
posted by compound eye at 8:06 PM on August 25, 2012


People's names, sometimes, too: Isoroku Yamamato.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 9:11 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


What? No 69?!

Well, someone was going to say it.

I'll show myself out.

posted by deborah at 9:32 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Songs are sung about them
posted by Isadorady at 10:15 PM on August 25, 2012


In Washington, DC, when the city was subdivided into lots, the diagonal (state) streets intersecting with the (otherwise orthogonal) street grid created a number of odd-shaped parcels that were unmarketable to private owners. The federal government retained those parcels until the formation of the park service, after which they were numbered, and basically forgotten about.

Now, a lot of DC residents have the dubious honor of living across from (tiny, unnamed, and often unmaintained) national parks with poetic names like 'Reservation 208'.
posted by schmod at 10:45 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Hatvan, a town in Hungary called that because it is sixty kilometers from Budapest. ("Hatvan" means "sixty" in Hungarian.) The town isn't really very interesting, but they have a park area near the sleepy train station that always seems to have enjoyed a recent rain which lends it an eerie feeling of tranquility and peace. But I always wonder if the town was so lacking that "Hatvan" seemed like the only good choice. I feel sad for it for that.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:05 PM on August 25, 2012


There's Five Houses in Prince Edward Island which, when I drove through it, consisted of five houses.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 3:31 AM on August 26, 2012


I've been through Fifty Six, Arkansas, which is near Mountain View (not to be confused with Mountain Home). I'm not sure why the link describes it as an awful name born out of complacency. The founders may not have been very creative in their choice, but the name is hardly awful. I think it's charming in the same vein as Oil Trough and other place names in that area of the country.

For those of you that like Mountain Music or exploring caves, check out the festival or Blanchard Cave and swing by.
posted by grimjeer at 6:47 AM on August 26, 2012


Oh boy, Eighty Four! That's where I can fly!
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 6:54 AM on August 26, 2012


It's perhaps not as exciting as having a proper number for a name, but there is a municipality called Ii near where I live. That is two i's in a row, and it is pronounced similarly to the name of the letter e in English. Here is a picture of a roadsign with the name in capital letters on it. It might look like something else too.

Piccy
posted by tykky at 7:21 AM on August 26, 2012


Naming streets after dates is a big thing here in South America. The main squares and avenues of Buenos Aires are named after dates (Plaza de Mayo and Avenida de Mayo after 25 de Mayo and Avenida 9 de Julio). There's also the Parque 3 de Febrero, the Estación 11 de Septiembre, known simply as Once and many, many more.

Uruguay has a province called, Treinta y Tres after the 33 Heroes who liberated the country. The capital of the province, and one of the largest cities in Uruguay, is also called 33.
posted by jontyjago at 7:22 AM on August 26, 2012


> Honorable mention: Coalinga, California: from the Southern Pacific railroad's name for "Coaling Station A".

From the definitive reference, Erwin Gudde's California Place Names (4th ed., 1998):
The place was known as Coaling Station after the Southern Pacific built a branch line to the district in 1888, when deposits of lignite were widely publicized as great coal seams. According to local tradition, the sonorous name was created by an official of the Southern Pacific who added an a to "coaling" (Laura Lauritzen).
It's not clear to me whether "Laura Lauritzen" was the official or a source for the story (she's not in the Glossary and Bibliography at the back), but at any rate: 1) it's only "local tradition," and 2) there was no "Coaling Station A."

> All over Latin America streets (and urban guerrilla groups) are named after dates

> Naming streets after dates is a big thing here in South America.

Forktine, meet jontyjago; jontyjago, meet Forktine. But really, naming things after dates is completely different and kind of a derail.

Great post!
posted by languagehat at 7:55 AM on August 26, 2012


Dotsero, Colorado, according to local folklore.
posted by Bruce H. at 8:18 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


$20, same as in Twenty.
posted by desjardins at 8:23 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Off the languagehat route of "towns whose name origins are more boring than the myth about the name," Tenino, Washington isn't named for some mythic train 10-9-0 but for a band of natives in Oregon.
posted by dw at 9:00 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well played, dw. I was just about to post this:
In 1872 the railroad from the Columbia reached Hodgden’s farm and a station was built and named “Tenino”.  It was the beginning of a settlement that later grew into the Town of Tenino.  There is much speculation about the origin of the name, with stories that it was named after a railroad locomotive with number 1090 or a survey stake with that designation marked on it.  According to the railroad archives, neither of these tales is true.  There is considerable evidence that the name preceded the railroad and is of Indian origin, meaning “a branch in the trail” or “meeting place”. (from city website)
posted by ryanjhollander at 10:59 AM on August 26, 2012


"The naukograds reflect the character of the Soviet system of organising the society to a high degree of purity. More generally, the secret cities were a natural expression of the Soviet emphasis on secrecy, and strict controls on the internal movement of the population. But they were not entirely unique to the Soviet system..."
posted by clavdivs at 11:52 AM on August 26, 2012


heh. I lived in a tent in the rodeo grounds at Wonowon for like 3 weeks a few summers ago. And that's pretty much all there is to that place - rodeo grounds and a gas station/general store/restaurant/motel. Good times.
posted by mannequito at 2:39 PM on August 26, 2012


Some US number names are 'disguised': for example Nisswa, MN (originally 'Smiley') is named after the Ojibwe for 'three'.
posted by Twang at 4:21 PM on August 26, 2012


My grandfather wrote Ninety Six: The Struggle for the South Carolina Back Country. It's about the role of the town in the American Revolution.
posted by bassomatic at 12:16 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


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